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Germany leads women’s Olympic bobsleigh, USA third – Garden City Telegram

By on February 19, 2022 0

BY TIM REYNOLDS Associated press

BEIJING (AP) — The Germans are staying at home on China’s Olympic sliding track.

Winners of gold medals in seven of the eight sliding events so far at the Beijing Games, Germany have placed themselves in a privileged position to add more material to their record total – retaining the top two places at mid – course of the women’s bobsleigh competition on Friday evening.

Laura Nolte and Deborah Levi have a half-second lead after two runs, with a combined time of 2:02.05. Defending Olympic champion Mariama Jamanka and Alexandra Burghardt are second in 2:02.55.

“Today was a really good show,” Nolte said. “We have to do the same tomorrow.”

And the United States is third, with four-time medalist Elana Meyers Taylor and brakeman Sylvia Hoffman finishing their first two runs in 2:02.79 — well ahead of Canada’s Christine de Bruin, who clocked a two-run time with the brakeman Kristen Bujnowski on 2: 03.21.

“I’m just going to go out there and have fun tomorrow,” said Meyers Taylor, who hinted she might retire after these Olympics. “It’s been a long journey and I’m just going to enjoy it to the fullest. I feel really good right now. I’m going to go rest and take care of it tomorrow. It’s a whole new day tomorrow.

Monobob gold medalist Kaillie Humphries, chasing a fifth Olympic medal and a fourth gold, has some work to do. Teaming up with brakeman Kaysha Love, Humphries is fifth at the halfway mark in 2:03.38 – nearly six-tenths of a second off what is currently the bronze position.

“Kaysha did an amazing job today,” Humphries said. “We will re-examine our equipment, look to clean some records and see what happens. … We go out there and we do our best. Sometimes it’s not good enough and sometimes it is.

The last two races of the event will take place on Saturday evening.

It is not a surprise to see these nations at the top of the ranking. The United States, Germany and Canada have combined to win 14 of the previous 15 Olympic medals awarded in the event; Italy are the exception, winning bronze in 2006.

Germany’s seven slippery gold medals already at these Olympics is a record for any nation, and its 12 medals – and counting – equals what East Germany and West Germany succeeded in 1976.

Germany went 4 for 4 in the luge events at these Olympics, then 2 for 2 in skeleton and swept the medals in the two-man bobsleigh race. The only Yanqing Sliding Center gold yet to go to Germany was in women’s monobob, when Humphries won and Meyers Taylor finished second for the United States.

It is perhaps the only blow to Germany’s slippery summary of these games, with Nolte leading this event and reigning world champion Francesco Friedrich the heavy favorite in the four-man event which begins on Saturday morning.

Nolte set the pace, leading after the first run on Friday night with Jamanka – the reigning Olympic champion – just 0.06 seconds behind. Meyers Taylor was third, Humphries fourth at the time, the gap between first and fourth being 0.37 seconds.

He opened up considerably in the second set, as Nolte pulled away.

“My runs weren’t perfect and especially in the second run I made some mistakes,” Jamanka said. “That’s more on my mind than the position we’re in. … We have things to do.”

The order at the top of the standings remained largely the same in moto two, with the only change being Bruin passing Humphries in the hunt for fourth.

“We’re up against tough competition with starts, with technology, with German technology in snowmobiles,” Humphries said. “It’s definitely a challenge, but having a competitive field in women’s sport is exciting. And we’re not ready to give up just yet. Anything can happen and we will fight until the end.

The only big driver in moto two was Russia’s Nadezhda Sergeeva, who finished 16th in moto one but moved up to ninth by the halfway point.